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Perceptions of health improve with pension receipt, researcher says
Date:2/20/2013

is a society where, traditionally, men have been the wage earners while women have stayed at home. For some women, the pensions might be their first incomes or their first consistent incomes."

The pension system in South Africa differs from Social Security in the United States. In South Africa, individuals do not need to have worked to receive pensions. Men and women qualify for pensions if they earn less than a certain amount and are age 60 or older. When Schatz conducted the study, men qualified at age 65 and women qualified at age 60. Although Schatz studied individuals from rural South Africa, she said her study may give researchers and policymakers an idea of how aging adults in the U.S. might feel about receiving fixed incomes after retirement, particularly in the current tough economic climate.

"Pensions and government assistance more generally are important sources of income for households and a way of making individuals feel better about themselves and their abilities to take care of themselves and their families," Schatz said. "Many people complain about social safety nets because they don't think they do what they're supposed to do. The data from my study indicate that people who do not have access to other sources of income because they are too old or sick to work, or they have retired are still supporting other people. Pensions affect the economic well-being of entire households."

Social Science & Medicine published the article, "The impact of pensions on health and wellbeing in rural South Africa: Does gender matter?" Schatz's co-authors included Margaret Ralston, a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology in the MU College of Arts and Science, and researchers from the University of Colorado and the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.


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Contact: Jesslyn Chew
ChewJ@missouri.edu
573-882-8353
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

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